Hurricane Florence Quick Update 11:50am Thursday

At this point, I would not change any of my hurricane coverage (scroll down). Because of the huge width of hurricane force winds and the powerful storm surge, the storm is going to be highly destructive. Waves of 24' have just been measured off Cape Fear. Those will enhance the destructiveness of the storm surge.

Tornadoes, lightning, storm surge, record flooding and a wide swath of winds higher than 80 mph. All will be produced by Florence. The Doppler wind data is showing wind gusts as high as 140 mph above the ground. However, in thunderstorms, those gusts can be brought to down to ground level. So, the graphics (scroll down) showing gusts to 125-130 mph still look good.

Below is the radar at 11:40 am EDT. The red polygon is a tornado warning.

The forecast path has not changed. The brown is the diameter of hurricane-force (sustained > 75 mph winds with higher gusts) wind. Huge. The area of sustained winds above 80 mph is larger than Sandy's.
The amber is the diameter of sustained 40-75 mph winds. My wind speed forecasts (see below) have not changed. Winds are already gusting above 60 mph high along the coast. 

This path will bring torrential rains to parts of North Carolina, northern South Carolina and Virginia. Again, scroll down for rainfall forecasts.

Tornado Watch just issued.
I am not going to do real-time coverage of the tornado threat. However, the general threat of tornadoes for eastern North Carolina will last at least into Friday night.

12:40pm addition:
Jeff Gammons reports from the barrier islands that homes are already taking a lot of water. The point I wish to stress is that what you see in the photo below is nowhere near as bad as it will get.


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